Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Amsterdam Travel Guide: Seeing the Queen!

I hope all is well where you are. I just returned from a trip to see my family in Kentucky. While there I was able to spend quality time with my parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and of course my darling little niece Kennedi. It couldn't have been a more perfect visit. But I'm back now and have a few more videos and journal entries from our European trip to share. I hope you enjoy. Here's Amsterdam....

Goedemiddag Bloggy Friends,

Our first day in Amsterdam was exciting but sleepy. We had to wake up at 5:40 in the morning to catch our 6:25 Thalys train, which at the speed of 300 km/h got us to our destination before we had a chance to catch some extra snoozies. The efficiency of the rail system continues to blow my mind. America needs to take a hint. Are you listening transportation czar?

The first thing on our Dutch agenda was to catch a bus to our apartment located in an area just south of the city's center. We booked this room on the same site we found our Paris flat, so upon arrival we were surprised to find that we don't have our own apartment but we're actually renting a room out of someone's house. It's not an ideal situation for either of us, but the owner seems like a very nice man. Plus, the room is immaculately clean and well decorated (think IKEA showroom). We'll see how this works out.

Despite imminent feelings of exhaustion, we couldn't wait to take in more of the city. To orient ourselves better we set out on foot toward the train station, which we thought would be a perfect place to begin a walking tour of the city center (Centrum). From there we traipsed down Damrak, a popular street packed with tourists. We took in a few of the sites, but were relieved when the street finally spilled into the more open area of Dam Square. It was here that we were ogling several important sites, like the Royal Palace and the National Monument, before noticing a crowd gathered behind New Church. Upon closer inspection we noticed a motorcade parked outside the door, so we began to ask people what was going on. No one had a direct answer, but most suspected a member of the royal family was inside....

Neither of us have ever seen royalty in our lives, so we decided to wait around to see who came out. Worst case scenario it would be some fuddy duddy prince or long lost royal cousin that no one has heard of, but then again, it could be the Queen. A gay can only hope, right?

Well, we waited around for about 15 minutes before cops started mounting their motorcycles and guards began shuffling around the door. Finally it popped open and out came a rosy little lady that looked like she was dressed for Millionaire's Row at the Kentucky Derby. It was Queen Beatrix! Everyone around began to clap politely as she scanned the audience with her perky eyes and fanned then with her dainty queen's wave. It was a surreal moment that was cut short by her quick escape into the regal black car that swiftly carted her away. Score one for the gays!

For the rest of the evening we continued to browse around. Everything in the center seems so touristy, but I later found out that it's actually an area where locals come to do most of their mingling in the clothing stores, groceries and (ahem) cafès. We had dinner at a seemingly popular noodle bar called Wagamama. It was good but I was becoming too sleepy to care. When we paid our check we began the lethargic walk home. Once there we crawled into our beds before the sun had a chance to say tot zeins, Amsterdam.

Have a great day. I'll chat with you soon.

Love, Josh

1 comment:

rick watson said...

Thanks for sharing girl. Is it really true that prostitutes window-market themselves in the city?